So, you would like to hear my story would you?" Loric gruffed out in a thick brogue. He got a far away look in his eye as he continued. "Well, I was born on the Pale of England, I was told by my lord, to a poor farmer who farmed a poorer land... I was told he could not pay his taxes, so he bargained me for his years tax.
My lord took me to his house in England, for a slave when I was old enough." Loric remembered as he rubbed a scarred hand through his red beard. "I suppose I should be grateful to the poxie git, but I held nothing but contempt for the man. He did however teach me the letters some. For that I am grateful."
The Scotsman stared down into the dying coals of the evening cook fire for a moment before he continued. "When I was in my tenth year, I was my lords servant boy. In a drunken stupor one night he came to my room and started beating me. I could stand no more." Fire flamed across the large mans eyes. "I ran to his own mantle and drew down his fathers sword, his most prized possession. I told him to stop or I was going to kill him where he stood. He laughed most heartily and pulled his dagger. Being a small lad I none the less held my ground. He got very serious and said he had killed men, for touching his fathers sword; and I believed him. With that, he sprung at me." Loric smirked a dark grin remembering. "Well, luck and god were with me that day. He stumbled, impaling himself on his fathers sword I still held in my small hands." He said, looking down at his hands. "In fear for my life I took gold, the sword, and my masters horse and fled his house."
Looking up again Loric continued. "I fled to the Highlands of Scotland and was adopted by my father, the smith. I took up his trade and his name. I learned quickly to forge and make the steel. I was happy with my new family for a while, but grew restless as time went on."
Loric pushed the coals around the fire and spoke. "Well, being adopted and not being the oldest son I knew I would never inherit my fathers business or his lands. So I struck off on my own to earn my own fortune.
I ended up back in England and heard more about the war that was going on, on the continent. Well, I thinks to myself, they are hiring mercenaries to help fight against the Holy Roman Empire. The pay was good, so I hired on."
Loric smiled, remembering past battles and glory. "I fought side by side with the Protestants for two years till the year of our lord sixteen hundred and twenty six. We were in Saxony when the papists attacked. They hit with such force at the battle of Luter, they destroyed our entire army. I was one of the lucky few that escaped with his life.
I fled back to Scotland with gold, my sword and my horse and once again took up the forgers’ hammer.
For two years I was happy swinging the hammer." His face darkened as if remembering something unpleasant. "Then my father was struck ill with plague, and famine swept the land; times were hard and were getting harder. Food was scarce and so was gold." Lorics face lightened somewhat. "Then it happened. A man came to our village recruiting for Gustavus Adolphus, the Swedish king. Well, I tell you, his promises of gold and glory were just too much. I Just had to join in the fight."
Loric let out a hearty laugh. "Well, that’s my story of how I came to be in Colonel Gaffney’s Regiment of pike." And with that the veteran stretched, yawned and wandered off to his tent to get some sleep.
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